CRAVEN may well be about to go through the biggest shake-up of local government since the 1970s - but 50 years ago, it looked a whole lot more drastic - two of the ‘Yorkshire Three Peaks’ were to be shifted into Lancashire! Madness.

Back in 1971the government had just published a white paper on how Yorkshire and Lancashire was to be carved up - and many were not happy.

Some of what was initially proposed was changed - including the shifting of Ingleborough and Whernside, which presumably had it gone ahead, may well have meant them joining up with Pendle Hill to become the ‘Lancashire Three Peaks’ instead - leaving Penyghent on its own as the ‘Yorkshire One Peak’.

The Craven Herald in February, 1971 on revealing for the first time the Government proposals discussed how the two peaks would end up in Lancashire - because the parishes of Chapel-le-dale and Ingleton were to be ‘grabbed’ from the Settle Rural Council. Penyghent, the smallest of the three, in the area of Horton, was to remain in Yorkshire and be part of the ‘North Riding’ district.

The Herald pointed out that even then, the ‘Three Peaks’ were an attraction for walkers, cross country runners and cyclo-cross enthusiasts, and contained some of the best pot-holes in the country.

Yorkshire was to have two ‘metropolitan counties’ - West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. The West Yorkshire ‘Met’ was to be made up of five ‘districts’ and included in the Bradford district would go the urban districts of Skipton and Silsden and part of the Skipton rural district.

Barnoldswick and Earby urban districts and adjoining parts of Skipton rural districts, were to go into Lancashire along with north-west townships of Settle rural district.

Meanwhile, the greater part of Settle rural district was to go into a huge Yorkshire County, along with the whole of Sedbergh rural district and parts of Skipton rural district.

We expect to know sometime around the middle of July, from the Government what form of unitary council set up will replace the current North Yorkshire County Council, which looks after highways, education and social care; and Craven District Council, responsible for planning - outside the national park, and the emptying of bins.

Two proposals have been put forward and are currently on the desk of the local government secretary; one unitary council to cover the whole of North Yorkshire, and another option which would see two unitary authorities - one in the west, including Craven and Harrogate, and one in the east.

Back in 1971, the Herald commented that ‘crocodile tears’ were being shed in some quarters, but that reform was needed and that the district could not continue in the ‘same old way’.

It went on to comment that there were valid and genuine doubts about the proposals and sincere regrets at the loss of urban and district councils, which it was felt had done a good job.

As to Skipton being removed from Bradford and placed in North Yorkshire, it commented there was something to be said for it - the town having more in common with the dales than the industrial towns of Bradford and Keighley. And it warned: “While the new North Yorkshire County will undoubtedly be a pleasant place , it is not likely to be over rich in terms of rateable value, sheep don’t pay rates.”

There would be terrific debate in West Craven, it continued, which seemed destined to go into Lancashire.

“Perhaps it might help things if we repeated the statement of a Yorkshire County Cricket official that the old county boundaries will be maintained for determining the eligibility of cricketers to play for Yorkshire. So, a cricket star from Barnoldswick, Earby or Ingleton, could still get into the Yorkshire side.”

A NATIONAL sales manager at a Steeton company had a hair-erasing experience ­– and raised more than £8,000 for charity.

Caren Larkman-Ayre waved goodbye to her shoulder-length locks in support of Marie Curie.

She had aimed to coin-in £7,500 for the cause.

But donations through her online Just Giving page, at, have reached £8,300 – and continue to rise!

“The total is just amazing,” says Caren, who works at Acorn Stairlifts.

“I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has made a donation.”

Caren was cheered on by colleagues as she underwent the cut, which was performed by her hairdresser Kelly Weston.

Kelly put the hair into plaits, before snipping them off and then using clippers for the rest.

The plaits are being sent to the Little Princess Trust, which provides free real-hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

Caren said had become increasingly nervous as the day of the cut approached, but was “pleasantly surprised” with the result.

Acorn Stairlifts has a long-standing national charity partnership with Marie Curie, donating up to 60 free stairlifts a year so patients can be cared for in their own homes.

Like most charities, Marie Curie has seen its fundraising badly hit by the impact of the pandemic.

Caren added: “Having seen first-hand the work that Marie Curie nurses and staff do to care not only for the patients but their families too, I couldn’t think of a charity I’d like to support more.”

For further information about Marie Curie and its work, visit

More details about the Little Princess Trust can be found at

GREEN-fingered residents at a care home took part in a day of activities to celebrate recent National Gardening Week.

They planted flowers, herbs and ‘beebombs’ in the walled gardens of Anchor’s Townend Close, at Cross Hills.

The beebombs – which comprise different types of wildflower to attract bees, butterflies and other insects – were made by care assistant Pauline O’Neil.

Among residents taking part in the activities was 97-year-old Margaret Maudsley, pictured, who said: “I love gardening – it is something I used to do a lot when I was younger. I find it interesting to watch plants you have nurtured grow into something beautiful.”

Residents also decorated plant pots, gnomes and bird boxes to be placed in the garden.

Sharon Mackie, manager at Townend Close, said: “Gardening is very popular with our residents and a great way to create a beautiful environment while boosting wellbeing.”

50 YEARS ago, in 1971, Long Preston saw the return of Maypole dancing on the village green following a lapse of 60 years. The village was given a maypole by Dutton’s Brewery, Blackburn, while wrought iron mounting, from which ribbons and garlands hung, was the gift of Mr and Mrs Holmes, and he ribbons, from Mr S Robertshaw.

Aline Hitchen was May Queen.

Also 50 years ago, it was announced there had been almost 50,000 visitors to Craven Museum in the previous year, half of which were children. Public taste for museums had been growing, it was agreed.